Three boisterous baby Spider Monkeys have been thrilling visitors to Taronga Western Plains Zoo these school holidays.
Born over the space of a few months to mums Rosa, Hiccups and Jai, the three young females are thriving as they learn to eat, play and climb on the Primate Islands.
“It’s really exciting to have three new babies, and to see the whole troop pitching in, it’s a real family affair,” said Primate Keeper Sasha Brook.
“Hiccups has always been a really good aunty to the other babies we’ve had in the troop, but hasn’t had offspring herself for a really long time, so it’s really nice to see her having a baby of her own.”
“The eldest of these babies in particular has been getting more and more adventurous, venturing away from mum, interacting with her keepers, experimenting with eating solid foods and even clambering over other monkeys. It’s really cute to see!”
The Spider Monkeys are very active throughout the day but the best time to see them is during feeding time, which occurs between 12.30pm and 1pm daily.
The three babies are yet to be named, however Keepers do have a shortlist of names that are South American in origin.
“Spider Monkeys are critically endangered thanks to factors like habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade, so breeding programs like ours are crucial,” Sasha said.
Every dollar spent at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has the Power to Protect. Tickets, Animal Encounters, Tours and even Zoo Friends annual memberships are a great way to support Taronga’s vital conservation work.
Visitors can also hire a four-seater Pedal Boat and venture out onto the Savannah Lake to see the Spider Monkeys, as well as critically endangered Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, like never before. Boat hire is situated outside of the Zoo’s main café, and boats can be hired between 10am-3pm Thursday to Sunday, with extra days available during the school holidays. A 30-minute boat hire is only $20 per boat.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is open 8.30am-4.30pm (last entry to the zoo circuit by 4pm) during the school holidays. For more information about planning a visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo or to purchase your tickets online visit www.taronga.org.au/dubbo–zoo.